Classical Music News of the Week, October 7, 2017

Nashville Symphony's Second Composer Lab and Workshop Brings Four Emerging Composers to Nashville

Following a nationwide call for submissions, the Nashville Symphony has selected four promising young composers to participate in the second edition of its Composer Lab and Workshop, an initiative designed to cultivate the next generation of great American composers.

The four composers – Emily Cooley, James Diaz, Liliya Ugay, and Shen Yiwen – will be in Nashville on November 13-15 to take part in the comprehensive program, led by Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, during which they will showcase their music and learn about every facet of working with a major American orchestra.

"This program is an important part of the Symphony's long-standing commitment to promote the creation of new, forward-thinking American music," said Guerrero. "Each of these gifted artists represents the vibrancy and diversity of our country today, and each is helping to shape the sound of orchestral music in the 21st century. We're so thrilled to welcome them to Nashville and to help them take the next step in their careers — and we invite the community to hear what we believe will be the classics of the future."

For complete information, visit

--Rebecca Davis Public Relations

PBO's Elizabeth Blumenstock Leads Italian Baroque Violin Program
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale will present a vivacious program of violin works from --- and inspired by --- Baroque Venice this November. PBO's long-time co-concertmaster and violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock will lead the Orchestra in a program called "Vivaldi in Venice" that she designed to spotlight the virtuosity of her fellow Orchestra members.

Baroque era Venice was the hub of violin-making and the city's musicians and composers wrote a profusion of music at the time. Some of that work is rarely performed today --- the program includes a violin concerto by one of Blumenstock's favorite composers, Giuseppe Tartini, whom she has helped champion in the last decade. Blumenstock will open with Vivaldi's masterpiece "l'Autunno" (Autumn) from Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) and will also showcase works by Locatelli, Veracini, Campra, Pisendel and Handel. In addition, oboist Marc Schachman will perform the virtuosic Albinoni Concerto in D minor.

Wednesday November 8, 7:30 pm
First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto

Friday November 10, 8 pm
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Saturday November 11, 8 pm
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday November 12, 4 pm
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Ticket prices range from $28 to $20
Tickets are available at City Box Office 415-392-4400 or
For more information, visit

--Dianne Provenzano, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Chicago Duo Piano Fest Celebrates 30
The Music Institute of Chicago announces the 30th anniversary season of its annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival (CDPF) beginning this fall with a concert program Friday, October 27 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois and continuing with a year of performances and a youth duo piano competition.

Called a "duo piano mecca" by Pioneer Press, the Chicago Duo Piano Festival was founded in 1988 by Music Institute of Chicago faculty members and piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem. Its mission is to foster a deeper interest in the repertoire, performance, and teaching of music for piano, four hands and two pianos, in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The festival offers coaching, master classes, concerts with special guest artists, and student recitals for students age 12 through adult.

For complete information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble and Oriana Singers in 'Echoes of Wittenberg'
The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble and The Oriana Singers chamber choir, in a first-time collaboration, will perform a centuries-spanning concert on Sunday, October 22, in Wheaton, Illinois, featuring German Renaissance a cappella music from the Roman Catholic tradition and instrumental works by Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz, Felix Mendelssohn, and others, based on famous melodies by Protestant Reformation leader and composer Martin Luther.

Free and open to the public, the one-time-only "Echoes of Wittenberg: Music of a Momentous Era" will take place at 5 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, 310 S. Wheaton Ave, Wheaton, IL. The concert is presented by St. Michael church. No tickets or reservations are required. Donations are welcome. For information, call (630) 665-2250 or visit

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

One Found Sound Opens Fifth Anniversary Season
One Found Sound, a chamber orchestra that performs without a conductor, opens its fifth anniversary season on Friday, October 27 at Monument SF with a program titled "Monster Masquerade." The program features three diverse works that highlight varying styles of dance music spanning three centuries including Webern's arrangement of Ricercar a 6 from J.S. Bach's The Musical Offering, Serenade for Winds, Op. 44 by Dvorák and Danses Concertantes by Stravinsky. Dedicated to presenting classical music in an intimate and informal setting, One Found Sound kicks-off its anniversary celebrations with a Halloween-inspired "masquerade ball" and invites audiences to attend the performance in full costume. Concluding the evening with a twist, One Found Sound will convert the venue into a post-concert dance party to feature a selection of music by Michael Jackson and other popular artists.

Founded in 2013 by five graduates of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, One Found Sound is a democratically run orchestra that rehearses and performs exclusively without a conductor. Artistic decisions are made by the collective participation of each member, with leadership positions chosen on a rotating basis. Now celebrating its fifth full season, the organization has presented more than 20 concerts in unique, accessible venues such as Salle Pianos, Monument SF and Heron Arts with an emphasis on showcasing the creativity of each individual musician. Regular members of the ensemble perform professionally in the Bay Area with a variety of orchestras, ensembles and chamber groups, with each member sharing the united goal of changing the way that audiences experience classical music.

Subscriptions to One Found Sound's 2017-2018 fifth anniversary season are on sale now. VIP passes to all three regular season concerts can be purchased online at the discounted price of $121.50 through

Single tickets to "Monster Masquerade" and all regular season concerts range in price from $25 to $45 and are available through

Annual gala tickets are available now for an early bird discounted price ranging from $45 to $100 until November 4, 2017. Full price tickets will then range in price from $50 to $125. Tickets can be purchased at

--Brenden Guy, Press & Media Relations

Thomas Dausgaard Named Music Director of Seattle Symphony Orchestra
The Seattle Symphony announced today that Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard will become the orchestra's next Music Director, beginning in the 2019–2020 season. Dausgaard will succeed current Music Director Ludovic Morlot, whose tenure concludes after the 2018–2019 season.

Dausgaard has served as the Seattle Symphony's Principal Guest Conductor since 2014. Additionally, he is Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (through 2019), Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra della Toscana, and Honorary Conductor of the Danish National Symphony, having previously served as its Principal Conductor from 2004–11.

--Hannah, Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

Musica Viva NY Opens 40th Anniversary Celebration Season
Musica Viva NY opens its 40th anniversary celebration season, with a concert entitled "The Wheel and the Sphere" on Sunday, November 12 at 5:00 p.m. at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side, NYC.

The performance features Carl Orff's joyful masterpiece, Carmina Burana—his most well-known work—featuring the Musica Viva NY choir, joined by the Allen-Stevenson School Chorus, Sandbox Percussion, sopranos Shabnam Abedi and Devony Smith, tenor Shawn Bartels, baritone Alex Lawrence, and pianists Margaret Kampmeier and Nelson Padgett. Also on the program is the New York premiere of Guillaume Connesson's Sphaera, based on a Latin poem by 17th century writer Richard Crashaw.

Tickets, priced at $40, are available by visiting or at the door.

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts & Media

ROCO November 2017 Concerts
ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Houston, Texas) continues its thirteenth season, themed "Cultivate Curiosity," with a varied series of November performances, including a new commission in honor of JFK's 100th birthday this year, a delicious evening of music paired with chocolate, as well as ROCO's grateful tribute to the former owners of Rienzi.

Courageous Catalysts (In Concert – November 11)
Musical Parfait (Unchambered – November 19)
A Season of Thanks (Connections – November 30)

For complete information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

New World Symphony Premieres Project 305
Project 305, a nearly yearlong project to crowdsource a symphony and accompanying film about Miami, FL by its residents, will culminate in a free concert celebrating the diversity of Miami-Dade County and the power of music on Saturday, October 21, 7:30 PM at the New World Center (500 17th Street). The project is a collaboration of the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS), Knight Foundation, the MIT Media Lab, and Miami-Dade County.

The crowdsourced work, composed by Ted Hearne with an accompanying film by Jonathan David Kane, is titled "Miami in Movements." The title not only alludes to the work's six-movement structure, but also pays homage to the variety of cultures and influences that have moved through and contributed to Miami-Dade County's identity over time.

"Miami in Movements" will be conducted by NWS Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and performed by the New World Symphony to close the concert, immediately preceded by George Gershwin's Cuban Overture. The first half of the concert will feature performances by Miami-based musical ensembles, including Picadillo – with vocalists Sol Ruiz and Rey Rodríguez – and the Barry Bucaneiros, a Brazilian drumming ensemble from Barry University.

The concert will be streamed via Facebook Live and projected onto the 7,000-square foot front wall of the New World Center as a WALLCAST concert, presented by Citi, for audiences in the adjacent SoundScape Park. Audiences online and at the Park will not only experience the new work's accompanying film, but will also see live video from the concert hall integrated throughout. To watch the performance on Facebook Live, follow the New World Symphony on Facebook at

--Shuman Associates

Harlem Quartet Returns to The Wallis
The Harlem Quartet Returns to The Wallis with Game-Changers Concert Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:30pm

When the Harlem Quartet stepped onto the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater in 2016 for its debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills, it brought down the house. Praised for its "panache" by The New York Times, the acclaimed quartet is "bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent," says the Cincinnati Enquirer. That new attitude will be on full display at The Wallis when they return with Harlem Quartet: Game-Changers on Sunday, October 15 at 7:30pm.

Harlem Quartet's members include violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky. The evening program explores game-changing works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries—including Claude Debussy, Dizzy Gillespie and Gabriela Lena Frank, as well as a work by Gavilan's father Guido Gavilan, one of Cuba's most celebrated composers and conductors.

Single tickets are now available for $25 – $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job. --John J. Puccio

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa